The Waldorf philosophy of early childhood development
100-year-old ideas that are increasingly being validated by modern pedagogical research.
The importance of storytelling, of the natural rhythms of daily life, of the evolutionary changes in the child, of art as the necessary underpinning of learning, and of the aesthetic environment as a whole –all basic to Waldorf education for decades – are being discovered and verified by researchers unconnected to the Waldorf movement.
— Paul Bayers
Professor at Teachers College, Columbia University
Rudolf Steiner considered the following conditions and experiences essential
for the healthy development of the young child.
Love and emotional warmth
Love and emotional warmth, rather than any particular early childhood program, is the basis for the healthy development of young children. The early childhood teacher strives to protect and nurture the unfolding of each individual child through loving interest, care, acceptance and respect.
“Children who live in an atmosphere of love and warmth,
and who have around them truly good examples to imitate,
are living in their proper element.”
– Rudolf Steiner
Everything that surrounds the young child, both visible and invisible, has an impact on them.
Early learning is profoundly connected to everything the young child sees, hears.
Baby Care Programme
Caters for babies from 4 months to two years old, from 7h00 to 17h30, Monday to Friday.
The Baby Care Programme at Michael Mount was started in direct response to calls from parents for a loving, gentle space run on Waldorf principles, to care for their babies.
“Most early education programs have been forced to accelerate the teaching of cognitive skills (which research is showing is inappropriate for these young children), while focusing less and less on their physical, emotional and social needs”. – Jane McCoy, BA, MA Curriculum Design, and a certified Waldorf teacher.
Babies do not distinguish between themselves and their surroundings. Michael Mount provides a safe haven where babies are slowly, gently
introduced to the world. READ MORE
The Michael Mount Early Childhood Centre is home to two playgroups. Each group consist of 16 to 18 children between the ages of two and four. School times: 8h00 to 14h10, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. 8h00 to 12h20 on Wednesday. Early morning care is available from 7h15 and aftercare until 17h30.
The primary goal of the Waldorf early childhood programme is to provide children with a safe, nurturing space in which to access their most important learning tool at this age: their imagination.
Toys are made from natural materials and are as unfinished as possible, so that the children are left to ‘finish’ them with their own imagination. Playthings include simple dolls and wooden objects, as well as beautifully coloured cloths for dressing up and ‘building houses’.
Imaginative, free play is considered one of the most.READ MORE
Michael Mount offers a variety of resources to assist new and not-so-new parents. These include a Resource Library, parenting groups, as well as workshops and seminars on subjects ranging from pregnancy, breastfeeding, childcare, discipline and more.
Each class has four Parent Meetings during the year, giving parents an opportunity to meet and share with other parents, and to converse with the teachers. One-on-one consultations are available.